Adam Strange's coffin arrives at his funeral, held at
Muriwai Surf Club, Muriwai Beach. Photo / Sarah Ivey
A bronze whaler shark and a great white were both
involved in the death of swimmer Adam Strange at Muriwai Beach
last week, according to the chairman of the Muriwai Volunteer
Tim Jago was in charge of coordinating the lifeguard response
to the fatal attack, and it was also up to him to formally
identify the 46-year-old's body.
He excused himself from the funeral service being held this
afternoon at the surf club to give a detailed account of the
attack by the two species.
It was important to all involved that the exact chronology of
events was put on the record, he said.
The two sharks involved were initially a bronze whaler and
then a white pointer, said Mr Jago.
He said Mr Strange had phoned lifeguards at 12.36pm to say he
intended to make a training swim a couple of times from Maori
Bay to Muriwai's main beach.
Lifeguards saw him complete the first swim, then walk back
along the track to Maori Bay.
At 1.15pm Mr Strange entered the water, Mr Jago said. "Almost
immediately Adam was subjected to the first of two shark
attacks by what we now know to have been a bronze whaler
"It is apparent that Adam unwittingly swam into one or more
sharks feeding in shallow waters close to shore.
"Within a very short space of time - 90 seconds - Adam was
subjected to a second and fatal shark attack; this time by a
Mr Jago said from the extent of Mr Stranger's injuries, his
death was almost instant.
The white pointer then carried Mr Strange's body 300 to 400
metres towards the main beach.
Two lifeguards attempted a rescue, driving an inflatable boat
into the white pointer and clubbing it with a paddle.
The pair realised Mr Strange was dead and decided it was too
dangerous for them to remain because there were other sharks
in the area.
Soon afterwards two more rescue craft were deployed and
police fired 12 shots at the shark, as it was still
"harassing the body".
Mr Jago said an analysis of video footage by emergency
services gave him confidence the shark had been killed by the
He said he understood there were a number of unique
characteristics which had driven interest in the incident.
"Firstly the event was witnessed from start to finish.
Secondly there has been a response to try and save Adam,
something that's not often possible in shark attacks.
Moreover we have Adam back, and that is not often the outcome
in such events.
"Thirdly, there has only been one previously documented
situation where a white pointer shark has operated in
conjunction with a bronze whaler to attack a human."
- Yvonne Tahana of the NZ Herald